The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye has stressed the need for proper guidance and counselling on the choice of career/vocation for youths. This she said will reduce unemployment in the country.
Adekanye, who made this known at a workshop on ‘The Relevance of Career/Vocational Guidance to Lagos State secondary school students’ said the theme speaks to the challenges of the education system vis a vis the large army of jobless youths and its attendant socio-economic consequences on the society.
Represented by the Director, Child Guidance, School Counselling and Special Education, Mrs. Ketimu Musa, she said “the disdain with which the society looked at the vocational and technical schools for some decades past is taking its toll on the youth population.”
She expressed concern that skilled jobs that would been taken up by Nigerian graduates in the built industry have been given to expatriates from Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and Cameroon.
“Many property investors go as far as Togo, Ghana and Cameroon to get labour. The agriculture and agro business sector of our economy has large capacity to employ a lot of people but our youths lack the requisite skills in this sector.”
The permanent secretary said the time has come for the country to face reality, while calling on counsellors not to shy away from advising students that are better off in technical and vocational colleges.
She said the workshop was designed to ensure that guidance counsellors help students in their choice of career/vocations at the end of junior secondary schools (JSS) through the application of the aptitude test and occupational interest inventory, a diagnostic psychological instrument administered annually to JS3 students in the state to place them in senior secondary school in the field of technical, humanities, business studies or sciences.
She said the judgement and advice of the counsellors become important at this stage of child development because “parental and peer influence make some students insist on a particular course of study without considering their own capacity to pursue the course and we owe responsibility to properly guide and counsel such students towards making them successful and self-dependent in the future.”